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Honest Teacher: Study Proves What We’ve All Known — Best Friends’ Grades Are Linked

Honest Teacher Peter Bui logo

This sponsored column is written by Peter Bui, founder of The Honest Teacher. An Arlington native and former teacher, Peter offers private tutoring services that focus on the individual needs of students and emphasize the core values of confidence, independence and resilience.

I remember studying with my best friend in school. Sometimes he’d get the higher grade, sometimes I would, but for the most part we were getting the same overall grades.

When we were driven to do well, we studied together — or at least separately — and then quizzed each other. When we weren’t motivated, it was easier to divide up the work and get through a class with a friend than alone.

I still hear about this today with my students. They have study dates where they will work together at one of their friend’s house. Sometimes they distract each other, but sometimes they help each other stay on task, do homework, and study.

So for the most part, they are working together on schoolwork rather than independently. If there are any missing links in their knowledge, then the gap will be filled by their friend and vice versa.

study from the Ben Gurion University in Israel found a strong relationship between the grade of one student and their best friend.

“Best friends” were defined as individuals with the most social interactions between them. If a “best friend” did well, then it was likely the person did well. The study also found evidence between copying homework and not doing well on tests — another no brainer like the link between the grades of friends.

But the fact that there is a definite, statistically significant correlation makes the old adage “having the right friends is important” even more critical.

The views and opinions expressed in the column are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of

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